appliances (excluding high risk areas such as kitchens) is for formal visual inspection to be undertaken according to the type of equipment and environment in which it is used, and combined inspection and testing by an electrically skilled person to be carried out every one to five years. Because of the more demanding environment, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) recommends more frequent inspections for catering equipment in kitchens with formal visual inspection and combined inspection and test required every 12 months.

“Without the correct electrical safety certification not only is the employer putting individuals at risk but they

are likely to experience disruption to business operations.”

For fixed wire accessories such as light fittings, sockets and fixed appliances such as over-sink water heaters, shaver sockets and hairdryers the recommendation is for inspection and testing every five years. Guidance for buildings open to the public such as hotels, restaurants, and public houses in BS 7671 Wiring Regulations 18th Edition: 2018 states that routine checks of electrical installations should be every year and formal periodic inspection and testing at least every five years.

The regulations refer to particular requirements for sleeping accommodation and ‘special and specific installations’ such as locations containing a bath or shower, rooms and cabins containing sauna heaters, swimming pools and other basins such as fountains and some outdoor lighting and installations. Electrical installations in poolside or ‘wet’ areas - swimming pools, saunas and changing rooms for example - should be tested every 12 months and in ‘dry’ areas such as gyms should be tested every three years.

Poolside testing poses other challenges and specific regulations require the electrician to check that installed fixtures and fittings comply with BS EN 60529 and 60598- 2-18 and cabling with BS EN 50525-2-21 and that they are situated in the correct zone as outlined in BS 7671. Temporary electrical installations such as in exhibitions, shows and stands (including mobile and portable displays and equipment) and temporary structures - amusement devices and booths at fairgrounds, amusement parks and circuses for example – should be inspected and tested after each assembly on site. The wiring regulations also have specific requirements for electric vehicle charging installations, external influencers, Residual Current Devices (RCDs), socket-outlets and connectors.

The regulations state that with sleeping accommodation it is recommended for Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) to be used as additional protection against fire in AC final circuits of fixed installations and, where used, they should

be installed at the origin of the circuit to be protected. Overloading or overvoltage can be a problem within any commercial premises and additional protection is required against transient overvoltages.

Surge Protection Devices (SPDs) should be provided where an overvoltage could result in any of the following: serious injury or loss of human life; an interruption in public services, commercial or industrial activity; damage to cultural heritage or it affects a large number of co-located individuals, and for all other cases a risk assessment must be carried out. In the new regulations the application of RCDs has increased, and wiring systems throughout (not just those in escape routes) are to be supported such that they will not be liable to premature collapse in the event of a fire. An electrically skilled person will be able to advise you on the actions required to ensure that your facilities comply with the new wiring regulations.

One of the challenges faced by duty holders of hotel and hospitality facilities when planning a maintenance programme is access and some businesses opt for inspection and testing out of hours. However in hotels where services are operational round the clock dynamic scheduling of maintenance visits to coincide with cleaning times will minimise disruption. An experienced electrical contractor will be able to arrange this and reduce the need for return engineer visits by carrying out any urgent remedial work at the time of testing.

“A comprehensive risk assessment and site survey carried out by

a skilled person will identify the scope of testing required and

recommendations for improvements to safety, reliability and efficiency.”

Poor maintenance may be a major underlying cause of accidents within the sector but it is a risk that can be controlled by taking a few simple measures. A comprehensive risk assessment and site survey carried out by a skilled person will identify the scope of inspection and testing required and recommendations for improvements to safety, reliability and efficiency. A competent electrical contractor should then have the ability to design a testing and inspection programme to suit your compliance and business needs and will alert you to when testing dates are due so that those crucial compliancy deadlines are not missed.

Further advice on equipment maintenance for people working in commercial kitchens, hotels, restaurants, cafes, fast food outlets, pubs and clubs and those working as contract caterers to other industries is also available on the HSE website. TOMORROW’S FM | 33

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